line
 
   
 
 
 
 

Heritage Register
Rockland

1618 Rockland Avenue
(ex-1604 Rockland Av)

Built 1928
Heritage-Designated 2001

For: Duncan Alcorn

Architect: Samuel Maclure & Eric Clarkson, attributed
Builder: Duncan Rudolph Alcorn

1618 Rockland

ARCHITECTURE:

This late British Arts & Crafts house has roughcast stucco walls, a steeply pitched, cross-gabled roof, and parapeted gables supported on unusual brackets. The Dereen façade has a full-height gabled extension to the left of the main entrance. There are three wall dormers, two to the left of the gable and one above the entrance. The enclosed entry porch has a flat roof. The Rockland façade has a shed-roofed, two-storey angled bay. Multi-paned wood casement windows are grouped in twos and threes. The prominent parged chimney has a traditional s-curved metal tie bar. The rear has three narrow gabled wall dormers and hip-roofed, square bay extensions to the main body of the house. There is a hip-roofed, double-width garage on the ground floor below the two dormers.

This residence is attributed to the office of Samuel Maclure, which was being operated by Eric Clarkson who served as a draftsman and later partner in some projects. A 1928 article in The Times announced that Maclure was the architect of a house on Rockland Av being contructed that year for $15,000. The details of 1618 are almost identical to those on the Harrison house in Uplands at 3235 Beach Av designed by Maclure & Clarkson in 1929. The permit for 1618 is only $8,000, perhaps indicating that the newspaper notice was referring to a contract let for two homes. 1602 Rockland Av was also built by D.R. Alcorn in 1928 at a cost of $8,000,and it reflects the design influence of Eric Clarkson. At this time Maclure was very ill (he died the following year), and he often left Clarkson in charge of the office.

ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS:

Builder Duncan Rudolph Alcorn (b. NB 1871-1946) came to Victoria in 1905 with his wife Addie.


OTHER OCCUPANTS:

1930-31: Richard Thornley Hall (b. Victoria 1898- 1938) and Gwynneth (née McPhillips, b. Victoria 1897) married in 1926. Richard was the son of Louisa Kinsmen and Richard Hall (906 Linden Av, Fairfield, a Maclure designed house), a prominent early Victoria businessman. Gwynneth was the daughter of Emily and Judge Albert E. McPhillips (1861-1938), who had a home 1603 Rockland Av (demolished), across the street from 1618, designed by Maclure in 1899. Richard was vice-president of Christy Hall & Co, real estate and insurance brokers.

1931-38: Mary “Aileen” Dennis (b. Regina, SK 1884-1959) paid the taxes. She lived here with her father Col. John Stoughton Dennis (b. Toronto 1856-1938) and his second wife Kate Hunter (b. Kingston, ON), who married in 1921 and came to Victoria after John retired in 1930. In 1879 John had married Mary’s mother, Québec-born Mary Conroy, who died in 1920. John was the son of Canada’s first Surveyor- General and Deputy Minister of the Interior, Lt.-Col. John Stoughton Dennis (1820- 1885). John Jr. was educated at Trinity College School, Upper Canada College, and the Kingston Military School. From 1872-78 he was Manitoba’s Assistant Land Surveyor, then until 1882 surveyed HBC’s town lots in Winnipeg, Prince Albert and Edmonton. He was chief inspector of the Federal Topographical Surveys Department of the Interior, then in 1902 became superintendent and chief engineer for CPR irrigation near Calgary. In 1885 during the Riel Rebellion, John Jr. commanded the Dominion Land Surveyors Intelligence Corps. During WWI he was a Lt.-Col. in the Recruiting Commission in the US, then a Col. and Director of Transportation & Intelligence of the Canadian Brigade in Siberia. He was a Red Cross Commissioner, chaired the Canadian Trade Commission in Siberia, and earned numerous decorations.

1939-41: Horace Plimley (1895-1985) and Constance Mary (née Michelin, 1896-1978) married in Victoria in 1918. Horace was a son of car dealer Thomas Plimley. As a child, he was a violinist and performed with Prof Edward G. Wickens’ childrens’ orchestra. Horace worked for Thomas Plimley Ltd, becoming president in 1929. In 1936 the business expanded to Vancouver. Horace and partners started Western Equipment Ltd in Victoria, selling power transmission accessories to the forest industry. The business is now based in Richmond.

1942-48: Eliza Margaret Jones (b. ON 1880-1969), the widow of Stephen Jones II (b. Clinton, ON 1869- 1933), owner of the Dominion Hotel, 755-765 Yates St, Downtown; his father Stephen Jones I (1817-1893) opened the hotel in 1876, and Stephen Jones III (b. 1910) continued the tradition.

1949-90: Retired RAF officer George Sydney Meyler “Sid” Warlow (b. Bedfordshire, ENG 1893-1985) and Marguerite (née Smith, b. Montreal, QC 1894-1990) had architects Birley, Wade & Stockdill design alterations to the house, costing $1,500, in 1949. In 1947-48 they had lived at 1765 Rockland Av.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:

• Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• Rockland History

• Rockland Heritage Register

• Hallmark Heritage Society Archives

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Three: Rockland, Burnside, Harris Green,
Hillside-Quadra, North Park & Oaklands


© VICTORIA HERITAGE FOUNDATION (VHF) 2014
House GrantsHeritage HousesResources & PublicationsNews & EventsBuilding CommunityAbout